Laura Beatrice Marling (born 1 February 1990) is an English folk musician from Eversley, Hampshire.
Initially prominent within the London folk scene, she has also toured with a number of well-known indie artists in the UK. Her debut album Alas, I Cannot Swim and her second album I Speak Because I Can were nominated for the Mercury Music Prize in 2008 and 2010 respectively. She won Best Female Solo Artist at the 2011 Brit Awards.
Marling was born in Hampshire, England, the youngest of three daughters of a music teacher, and learned guitar at an early age. Her father, who ran a recording studio, introduced her to folk music and shaped her musical taste. This was "a bit of a blessing and a bit of a curse. I couldnt slot myself into the age-appropriate genre", she later remembered. Marling was educated at Leighton Park School, a private Quaker school in Reading, Berkshire. She has said that during this time she felt uneasy around other people and had a fear of death.
At the age of 16 Marling moved to London, where she soon became part of a cluster of intertwined bands drawn to acoustic instruments and tradition-tinged melodies which formed a movement labelled "nu-folk" by the British press. She became part of the original line-up of indie folk band Noah and the Whale and was romantically linked with singer/guitarist Charlie Fink. She is featured as a background vocalist on their début album Peaceful, the World Lays Me Down; however, she left the group before the album's 2008 release and split up with Fink that same year. She also appeared on The Rakes track "Suspicious Eyes", from the band's 2007 album Ten New Messages, credited as 'Laura Marlin'. Marling would later collaborate with Mystery Jets, contributing guest vocals to the single "Young Love", released 10 March 2008. Previously, Marling was in a relationship with Marcus Mumford; they broke up around Christmas 2010, but are reportedly still friends.